Fall sports

In a matchup of unbeaten volleyball teams, Greenwich tops Trumbull

Photo by David Fierro: Lucia Spanjol (No. 2) and Kassidy Bonney (No. 1) react after Greenwich won a point during its match against host Trumbull on Sept., 15, 2021. The Cardinals notched a 3-0 victory.

Greenwich High School’s girls volleyball team has followed an impressive pattern through its first three matches of the season.

The Cardinals have won all three of their matches to start the season and have swept each opponent while doing so.

Trumbull, which won the 2019 CIAC Class LL championship, became the latest team to drop a 3-0 decision to Greenwich, which improved its record to 3-0 with its road victory on Wednesday.

“We knew coming in today it was going to be a challenging game,” said Adele Sotgiu, one of the Cardinals’ captains. “Trumbull won states two years ago, so we really tried to focus on passing, because we know they have hard serves. Obviously, Trumbull has a really good defense, they’re scrappy. But I think we were really strong on offense and that’s what won us the game.”

Sotgiu registered 16 kills and three service points, while senior middle blocker/captain Liana Sarkissian tallied 11 kills and 14 service points to lead the 3-0 Cardinals, who won the match by game scores of 25-19, 25-17, 25-21.

Kassidy Bonney of Greenwich looks to block a hit by Emma Gentry of Trumbull during a volleyball matchup.

The Eagles, who entered the match with a 3-0 record, received nine kills and five blocks from senior captain Jamie McPartland, 11 digs from senior captain Jamie Willix and 24 assists from senior setter/captain Maggie Carley.

“We’re a younger team in terms of varsity experience,” Trumbull coach Nicole Trommelen said. “We have girls who are super eager to learn and get better, which is super exciting to see and I think honestly, once we learn the speed of the game even more at the varsity level, we’ll be able to compete even more.”

Junior outside hitter Maggie Saleeby posted seven kills, senior captain/opposite hitter Sophie Jones had five kills and junior setter Lucia Spanjol kept the offense moving, tallying 40 assists for the victors.

“It was a tough match, but it definitely brought our team together, since we are starting to play tougher teams,” Saleeby said. “It really shows our strengths.”

Greenwich’s back row gets ready to return a serve in their match against host Trumbull on Sept. 15, 2021.

Trumbull began the opening set by taking a 7-4 lead, but Greenwich quickly came back and gained the momentum. Kills by Sarkissian and Saleeby gave the Cards an 8-7 edge. With the set tied at 9-9, Sotgiu gave Greenwich the lead for good at 10-9 with a kill. The set remained close, but strong hitting from Sarkissian, Sotgiu and Saleeby helped Cardinals to close out the set, giving the team a 1-0 lead.

“For us, it was our serving and our serve receive,” Sarkissian said. “At the beginning of the match, we had a rocky start with our serve receive. But we really focused in on that. That’s what’s key to winning the game – serving hard and passing good and that’s what we did.”

Said Greenwich coach Steve Lapham, who has guided the Cards to two FCIAC and a pair of CIAC Class LL titles during his successful tenure: “This team is starting to put it together. They are building confidence with every game.”

Greenwich raced out to an 8-1 lead in the second game and never trailed. In the third game, the Eagles built a 7-2 lead, before Greenwich rallied.

“I knew there would be trouble if we did not take that third game,” Lapham said. The team showed a lot of poise down four and down five in the third and just settled down and got it back.”

Greenwich gathers after winning a point against host Trumbull.

Sophomore Kassidy Bonney tallied six service points, while Saleeby had eight and Spanjol had five for Greenwich, which plays Brien McMahon and Norwalk next week. Saleeby added 10 digs, while Sarkissian had two blocks and two assists in the win.

“We definitely were not keeping our heads down, we had to keep strong throughout, especially during those runs we were losing,” Saleeby said. “We had to keep fighting through it all and that’s what made us win tonight.”

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